Gett'n old - barrel lifting

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Junior Member
Sep 10, 2010
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I use a combination of stainless beer kegs, 15.5 gallon, and 50l barrels for ageing. I've always lifted them, full, to move around, rack, etc. well that was till last January when lifting a full barrel off of my cart put on the patio for cold stabilization. Oh, it was a lovely cold January for such a thing. Unfortunately, my bicep tendon decided that was it and tore. Ouch! The upside is my wife got to say "I told you so" which always makes her happy.

Anyway, faced with racking, which I prefer to do by gravity (yes we could have fun debating that one), I rigged up a hoist. For Carboys, I use a hydraulic lift table. However, it was lifting the barrel off of the lift table which started this whole story.

Found one at Harbor Freight for <$100. I mounted it on a pipe mounted from the ceiling joists, picked up a couple of slings and gave it a try. All in all it works really well. I have it rigged for 220lbs which is more than adequate for 15gallons plus keg or barrel.

It turns out, despite what the catalog says, a 2 in pipe is only good for stationary use, it will not slide. I just rigged another in my shop to act as an elevator to the attic for fermenter, picking bin, etc. storage. That one I mounted to a piece of electrical strut and it slides just fine.

I designed my house so I know the joists are good for the added load. And of course I followed state requirements by hanging my 225lbs from the pipe. Don't know if I can make a rig for a carboy, I'm not sure I'd trust a sling around the neck. Maybe a net like sailors use?

So as y'all age, try this before your spouse gets to say it::


Have you ever tried putting a carboy in a milk crate - then lift upright with the straps attached to the handles ?
I like both answers. Tried the milk crate. Works good with a tripod sling. As for the pump, I'm hoping to be the weiner.
I feel your pain, getting old sucks. I use my Buon Vino mini jet to rack all my wine.(about 35 gal per year) I bi-pass the filters and just use the pump. Takes about 15 min to rack a 6 gal carboy and have been using it for almost 20 years so a little care in cleaning goes a long way:h
I like both answers. Tried the milk crate. Works good with a tripod sling. As for the pump, I'm hoping to be the weiner.

You can be the "weiner" so long as I'm the "winner"!

Ps. Now in my seventies... Those full carboys sure do seem to be getting heavier as the years roll by. :(
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